When the UFC announced the signing of Ronda Rousey and presented her with a UFC belt in December, the impression a lot of people had was that women’s MMA in the UFC would revolve around her, but that’s not the case.
Rousey and Liz Carmouche headline the UFC 157 fight card, but the UFC has also officially announced the signing of Sara McMann and Alexis Davis. Miesha Tate is already scheduled to fight Cat Zingano on The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale. It’s not a one-woman division.
“When I talk to Joe Silva and Sean Shelby (UFC matchmakers), we have 10 of the best 135-pounders in the world as far as the women go,” UFC president Dana White said following the UFC on Fuel TV 7 pre-fight press conference.
Rousey is happy to see the UFC’s commitment to women’s MMA and is encouraged by the signings and fight announcements.
“I love the fact that even before this fight has happened that they’re already scheduling more girl fights, so all the people that think, oh the outcome of this fight determines the future of the women’s division, well it’s obviously not true. They’re already investing in a longer-term vision of what they have for the girls that are (hitting home),” Rousey said on a media conference call promoting the UFC 157 event.
“And it’s really encouraging, I’m happy to see that, that it’s not just about, you know, me and Liz. It’s about the girls and I’m excited to see what’s up next after this,” added Rousey.
Carmouche shares Rousey’s enthusiasm.
“I think that Dana White and the UFC are invested in the women’s division, but it wasn’t known to other people and now this is just evidence of the work he’s putting in to build up the 135 division. I don’t think that he would make a title fight between myself and Ronda if he didn’t actually want to have a whole division that would follow after that. So it’s great to see some things lined up,” said Carmouche.
With six female signings officially announced, and two match-ups made, the UFC still has four more females under contract that we don’t yet know.